07/16/16

How to manage a 10-hour flight with a baby


Last Monday I took our 8 month old baby girl on a flight to Finland by myself. I was a bit worried how it will go as it was a daytime flight which meant most of the hours would be spent awake. Would she scream the whole way or would we receive unhappy states from fellow passengers?


At the airport my Manduca baby carrier was a life saver! I could carry Anna and still have my hands free to carry luggage, fill exit forms and buy snacks. I only took it off for the security check as the carrier needs to go through the checks as well. 

When we got to our seat I noticed the plane was almost full, but still the flight crew managed to arrange an empty seat next to us. Thank you for the man willing to change his seat!


I had reserved the first row seat so we could have more leg room and use the baby basket. We didn’t end up using the basket that much, except for our stuff, but I’m sure for the nighttime flight back to Guangzhou it will be very useful.

I brought a few toys for Anna, including the elephant you see in the photo, which was new for her (cousin’s toy) so it would keep her entertaint for some time.


But more than the toys she loved interacting with other passengers and luckily they liked her too. Chinese love babies, especially mixed babies!

For food she drank mostly breastmilk and some smoothies and snacks I brought with us. On my lunch tray there was salad and bread that were suitable for her as well. 

Only at the end of our flight Anna got too tired, it was 8pm Chinese time, and she cried a bit. Other than that our flight was a success! The crew was very helpful and made sure we had everything we needed so thank you Finnair.


Some tips for air travel with babies:

  • Baby carriers are golden at the airport and sometimes on the plane too.
  • Bring change of clothes for you and the baby. 
  • Bring warm clothes as the plane can get very cold.
  • Snacks for you and the baby are important too.
  • Bring a new toy with different functions, but water bottles are fun as well!
  • Book the baby basket seat if your baby is less than 70cm and 10kg or so. Or book it just for the extra legroom.
  • Be friendly to fellow passengers, they can be super helpful!

What other tips you have for flying with a baby? Please share your experiences in the comments.

07/9/16

From hot and humid to arctic North


Guess where we are going? Correct! Me and Anna are heading to Finland on Monday to spend the rest of the Summer a bit closer to the arctic circle. 

Today Guangzhou was scorching hot with 38 Celsius (feels like 40+) while my hometown in Southern Finland had only 13 degrees! I’m totally up for some cool and fresh air after being in a constant sauna these past days. 

This time it’s going to be a bit different trip back home. It’s the longest holiday I’ve ever had back home since I moved to China in 2010, a whole 2.5 months of Finnish goodness. It’s also the first time in 10 years I’ll be living with my mom for such a long time. And it will be the first time as a mother my self to go back to Finland. I wonder will I see things in a different light now?

The Summer will be for relaxing, totally need it after bringing life to baby and a thesis at the same time. But I do hope to get back to more frequent blogging as well. I realized I have so many ideas waiting to be written and published!

How’s everyone’s Summer plans? Taking the heat in China or escaping to cooler lands? 

06/9/16

What now? Student life finally over

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I’ve been a pupil or a student most of my life. I went to school when I was 6.5 years old, and besides taking two years off after high school, I’ve been student until now. After this month’s graduation ceremony my student life will finally be over. My exchange student years have gone by as fast as all these six years in China.

For the past half a year my main job have been taking care of our baby girl, it’s amazing to see her grow and learn new things every day. These two months I’ve also been teaching Finnish and Chinese on a relaxed schedule, allowing both me and our daughter to get used to the change.

In July our long waited trip to Finland arrives! Me and our baby will spend 2.5 months Summer vacation back home! Cant’ wait to let Anna meet my side of the family and show her where I grew up. If everything goes well, I’ll also be teaching a short course of beginner Chinese in Lahti before we head back to Guangzhou.

After a hopefully refreshing holiday in Finland it’s time to get back to business! Unfortunately staying at home longer isn’t an option as I won’t have any maternity benefits as I would if we lived in Finland, so work is calling. The rest of the year I’ll be working towards opening my own Chinese language center here in Guangzhou! I’ll be sharing more news about that as my plans go along.

My husband Alan has exciting news as well, he opened a Japanese bakery with other partners and they are all working super hard to make it a success. So far everything is going very well and their bread and pastries are delicious! If you want to try it ouy, you can find Fujio Japanese Bakery at the Utopia shopping mall at the Liede metro station exit A.

But now back to being a working mom and happy Dragon Boat Festival to everyone!

04/23/16

Welcome Back!

Short trip to Beijing

Short trip to Beijing

My blog has experienced a lots of problems during the past month and was hacked and cleaned a few times in a row. I hope that those problems are now past us and I can continue blogging!

These months I’ve been very busy with out beautiful baby girl and it’s a real joy to see her grow and learn new things on a daily basis. I still have posts coming up on giving birth in China, applying for a Finnish citizenship and passport and all those paperwork that is needed for a Foreign-Chinese baby.

At the beginning of this month I also finished my master’s thesis! Another great milestone behind me. The presentation of my thesis is next month and if all goes well I will receive my diploma at the end of June. Then head to Finland for a long Summer holiday back home with our baby and my family.

I have continued teaching Chinese again, taking just a few students this Spring. I’ll be looking forward to getting back to working full-time in September when I’m back from my Summer in Finland. I have big plans ahead!

At the same time my husband has been working on something super exciting as he is opening a Japanese bakery with his partners. They will be opening in a few weeks!

Already lots of exciting things at the beginning of this year, can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds for us!

01/2/16

Out and about with a baby

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Staying at home day in day out isn’t really my thing, not even with a small baby. Even though I didn’t do the Chinese postpartum zuo yuezi, I still got bored of being at home as I was used to go around the city teaching my students. But how to go out and take your baby and all essential items with you?

In China, at least in Guangzhou, a stroller isn’t really the most convenient means of baby transport. Many metro stations aren’t really designed for baby wagons and busses are mostly impossible to get on with a stroller. Luckily I found a great and cheap answer to this problem in the form of a baby sling or baby wrap which you can see in the photo above.

A sling can be used from newborn to toddlers (depending on the sling material etc) and it leaves your hands free no matter if at home or outside. Luckily my baby has been happy with traveling in the safety of the sling, always next to me and hearing my heartbeat.

Going out with my baby here in Guangzhou has been easier than I thought. Anna gets lots of admiring glances and people are quite surprised to see that even a small baby can be carried this way. I have heard many discussions about carrying a baby while I’ve walked around the city, almost all in a very positive tone. The things people are worried about is if the baby is able to breathe freely and if the sling protects the neck well. I’ve been happy to tell that sling is a great way to carry a baby, much better than carrying in your hands.

With a small baby I’ve also encountered the need to feed my baby whenever and where ever she gets hungry. I’ve seen news about breastfeeding in China, both positive and negative comments have followed. I’m happy to notice that so far I haven’t gotten any negative comments about breastfeeding in public. I do try to feed my baby without bothering others and often people around me don’t even realize I’m breastfeeding.

In public transport I’m always given a seat when I’m carrying Anna. People have been jumping up from their seats to give me a seat. Occasionally I’ve noticed bus drivers to wait until I’m seated to continue the journey, making it thus safer for me and my baby.

So far I’ve been very happy to take Anna with me here in Guangzhou and hope that this way she will get used to going out with me. Actually I’ve noticed that on our days outside she sleeps so much better in the sling and loves exploring the view with her eyes.